Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Messi rescues Argentina, whose flaws will give future opponents hope
by Ridge Mahoney, June 25th, 2014 5:36PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  argentina, bosnia-herzegovina, iran, lionel messi, nigeria, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney
(@ridgemax)

The major players advanced to the second round from Group F, yet an encouraging debut for Bosnia-Herzegovina highlighted an entertaining set of matches.

MESSI ON THE MARK.As expected, Argentina won the group, though its struggles against a packed defense in a 1-0 defeat of Iran and the robust, athletic thrusts of Nigeria in a 3-2 victory gave future opponents ample factors to incorporate and critics a few perceived flaws to investigate.

Questions regarding Argentina coming into the competition centered on the team’s aging core, especially in defense, and whether the cast supporting superstar Lionel Messi could shoulder the burden. He scored in every game, perhaps most dramatically in stoppage time against Iran, when he picked up the ball on the right flank and darted into the middle to unleash a shot inside the far post.

Though Argentina blanked Iran, which defended stoutly and seldom pushed forward, it conceded an equalizer to Nigeria a minute after Messi punched home a rebound in the third minute, and again shortly after halftime following a superb Messi free kick in first-half stoppage time that restored the lead. Argentina also took an early lead in the group opener against Bosnia-Herzegovina via an own goal stemming from a Messi service, and he scored the eventual winner with a goal of such quality just about everyone in the crowd at Maracana rose to celebrate.

A member of the supporting cast came through when Marcos Rojo bundled home a corner kick to register his first international goal that sealed victory against Nigeria, and subs Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuain helped forge the defeat of Bosnia–Herzegovina.




BAD LUCK FOR BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. The first-ever World Cup appearance for this small country carved out of the former Yugoslavia started terribly when Sead Kolisinac scored the quickest own goal in the tournament’s history two minutes and eight seconds into the opener against Argentina, and the rough luck continued when a legitimate Edin Dzeko goal against Nigeria was incorrectly annulled for offside in the second group game.

Peter Odemwingie scored for Nigeria eight minutes after the disallowed goal and by the 1-0 result Bosnia-Herzegovina was eliminated before playing its final group game against Iran, which it won impressively, 3-1. Dzeko finally got a goal midway through the first half, Miralem Pjanic punctuated his solid tournament by scoring the second, and Avdija Vrsajevic strode forth from the back line to get the third.

Vedad Ibisevic, who attended high school in St. Louis and played college soccer at SLU, bears the honor of scoring his country’s first World Cup goal, and against Argentina no less. He raced through to nutmeg Argentine keeper Claudio Bravo with five minutes remaining and force the two-time world champion to concentrate as it rode out a victory.

BEITASHOUR BLANKED. Northern California product Steven Beitashour, who played collegiately at San Diego State and started his pro career in San Jose before being traded to Vancouver this past winter, did not play in any of Iran's three games. He had earned six caps after being contacted by head coach Carlos Quieroz.

 



1 comment
  1. Lucho Monge
    commented on: June 25, 2014 at 8:15 p.m.
    Claudio Bravo is Chile's goalkeeper. Argentina's goalkeeper is Sergio Romero.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Bruce Arena makes the USA fun to watch    
Before Friday's game against Honduras, I wondered whether the U.S. national team would bring joy to ...
Michael Bradley: USA prepared 'to tilt the bar in our favor' early against Honduras    
As they train in San Jose for a crucial Hexagonal match against Honduras on Friday, the ...
Next move for Real Salt Lake is the most crucial in a decade    
The history of RSL is one of remarkable stability -- just three head coaches since starting ...
U.S. roster announcement: Bruce Arena's return marked by a singleness of purpose    
Multiply the left-back debate with a few more positions each with several candidates and you'll have ...
Quakes encouraged but not giddy after impressive opener    
Four seasons without playoffs has left the fervent fans in San Jose discouraged, but a ray ...
MLS 1-22: Ranking the teams on the eve of a new season    
Eight different teams have played in the last four MLS Cup finals and last year, 2015 ...
Random thoughts as the MLS season draws near    
The 2017 MLS season starts next Friday, March 3, more than a month earlier than the ...
Walker Zimmerman joins the U.S. centerback pool with solid performance    
Two FC Dallas centerbacks were summoned to the first U.S, camp of 2017 and after Matt ...
Rare USA golazo inspires some hope    
One swallow doesn't make a summer, but the USA delivered something impressive with its goal in ...
Greg Garza, soccer wanderer, finds place to start anew, again    
A long voyage to several continents has led U.S. international Greg Garza to the MLS startup ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives